Designing Output Templates

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Let's assume we have some data in the ActionApps slice. In this chapter, we'll look at how to present the data on the website, that means how to create a (single) web page which lists the data in the desired format and look. First, let's look briefly at which parts of ActionApps are responsible for generating the design:

= Index View

~ToDo: Describe index view

= Fultext View

~ToDo: Describe fulltext view 

Where Can The Design Come From

~ToDo: Rewrite FAQ 1714: Where is the HTML

Where is the HTML

The HTML for a typical APC-AA site can come from many places which can confuse people used to doing all their HTML in a single place.

Location What to put there
.shtml file static HTML that doesn't repeat, and is not changed often. Can be edited with any standard web editor by someone who has write permissions on the web server. The HTML has lines like <!--#include "/apc-aa/view.php3 --> (or apc-aa/slice.php3) to include a PHP file which will fetch information from the Slice's design.
Design section of the Slice This is used to list a range of items in a slice, or display a single item. Someone with Admin permission on the slice can go to apc-aa/admin -> Admin -> Views or apc-aa/admin -> Admin -> Display/Index or Display/Fulltext. HTML can be placed here associated with the top and bottom of a listing, with each item, and with groupings of items. The HTML includes alias such as _#HEADLINE
Aliases such as _#HEADLINE Each alias defines how to show a particular field, it does this by choosing a function (e.g. f_h) and parameters. For example _#HEADLINE is usually just output, while a Link might be output surrounded by <a href=" and ">. They can be edited by anyone with administrator priviliges on your slice by going to Admin->Fields->choose field ->Edit. A field can have several different ways of being output, for example a date could have aliases for both short (1/1/200) and long (1 January 2000) forms of output.
Functions such as f_h These define functions certain common ways fields are output. They are defined in the PHP code, and so have to be edited by developers, except that there is an extension function f_u that calls functions from apc-aa/include/usr_aliasfnc.php3, these can be written by anyone who understands PHP3.
Data Lastly of course, the HTML could be in specific fields in your data.


  • You don't have to put a .shtml at the top - you can just use a more complex URL refering to apc-aa/slice.php3 or apc-aa/view.php3
  • You can include a view from within an alias by using the function f_v